Repair+ Service: Omega Speedmaster 105.003-64 calibre 321

IMG_5966This sorry looking Speedmaster came from Belgium, and Eric sent it in. He didn’t have much hope for it, as he already had it with a local watchmaker in Belgium, who said he couldn’t repair it due to lack of parts.

The outside doesn’t bode well, now let’s have a peek inside …IMG_5968

Everything is there at least… The blocking lever has a broken spring, and the hairspring doesn’t look quite right. Lots of scratches everywhere – you can see that people have tried without success to get this watch running again.IMG_5969

The pushers look a bit odd – somebody has put some “boots” on the pushers to make them longer.IMG_5971

The dial is badly damaged.IMG_5972

The bottom plate doesn’t look too bad. 559-1-01

The roller is glued onto the balance staff, and the balance staff isn’t correct. You can see that the shape of the bottom bit is modified.559-1-03

Bits of glue visible coming out from under the roller.559-1-04

The winding stem has broken off, and the broken bit is firmly lodged in the plate.559-02

Lots of scratches everywhere.IMG_5994

The overcoil of the hairspring has been completely mangled.IMG_6001

I take the movement apart and clean everything.IMG_6254

The case gets new pushers. These are the old type, which aren’t screwed in, put are pushed into the case.IMG_6255

The new mainspring goes into the barrel.IMG_6526

After a lot of head scratching about how to remove the broken off winding stem from the plate, I decide to ask my colleague and friend Al from if he has a trick up his sleeve – and he does! Alum (Potassium Aluminium Sulphate) is the secret. The stuff completely dissolves normal steel, but doesn’t do anything to the plate. 24 hours later …559-1-05

and the left over bit of the winding stem is completely gone. Magic!IMG_6256


Now I can start to put together the base movement.IMG_6258

The wheel bridge ready to be put into place.IMG_6293

I put the balance in to see what the odd staff / glued roller does, and as expected, it’s fine in one position, but the amplitude completely drops off dial up.


I manage to find a new balance staff. First, I put it between the mounted jewels to check if it’s the correct length.IMG_6621

Now I removed the old balance staff on the lathe – the balance is ready for the new staff.IMG_6623

In the staking set, I rivet the new staff onto the balance. IMG_6624

I actually ordered a new Star staking set last week, which I hope will arrive next week from Germany. The Pearl staking set is fine, but I want the Star, as you can use the stakes as anvils as well.IMG_6625

The balance with the new staff.IMG_6627

Roller and hairspring back on the balance.IMG_6628

And we have a ticking movement again.IMG_6631

The restored overcoil – looks quite different if you compare it with what the hairspring used to look like… IMG_6633

And here we are with a nice result.IMG_6635

Now I can put the chronograph back together.IMG_6636

The new blocking lever has arrived from France – for a small fortune.IMG_6640


The bottom plate is back together.IMG_6641

And the chronograph is complete, adjusted and happily working.


Ready for the dial and hands.


The replacement hands that I bought are too small, so I repaint and re-lume the original ones.


The new dial and the new sub-dial hands.


The old hands are painted and ready for new luminous compound.


The case cleaned and with the new pushers.


I case the movement, and put in a new gasket with silicone grease.


The dust cover was also missing, but I managed to find a new one.

IMG_6776 The case back is on…IMG_6777

More than happy with the result. Not that I made any money on this watch, as the repair took up a lot of time, but it’s very satisfying to rescue a nice watch like this.IMG_6778

Looking great again. As I finish the watch off, “Ca plane pour moi” is on the radio, and that’s of course very fitting for what I’m doing and for the fact that the watch was sent in from Belgium!


29 thoughts on “Repair+ Service: Omega Speedmaster 105.003-64 calibre 321

  1. what a fantastic story, love the dedication and passion for the movement, this is akin to restoring a classic Rolls or Bugatti from a sorry state to beauty, Superb effort and result

  2. This guy is obviously handy,but what are you guys complaining about not being able to find anyone to repair the watch for. Just send it to Omega jesus christ big deal! You will end up with like new watch condition and 321 movment speedmaster so in that condition can fetch $6000 + so even if you spend $700 to fix it it’s f worth it!

      • Hi Christian

        The 105.003-64 speedmaster you have just sorted for me had been to Omega who sent it to Switzerland they then sent it back saying they couldn’t do it, just shows Omega are useless.

        Thanks for the fabulous job you did for me.


  3. I have an old seamaster caliber 321 keeping excellent time.
    But that is all I can get.The chrono parts are missing,except for the pushers and
    the flyback lever.
    I would love to have it complete with the chrono working but can’t find anyone who
    can do the job.
    I wonder if is there anybody that you know who can do it without spending more
    than the watch is worth.

    • Hi Jose,
      You will have to look out for a complete movement on eBay – maybe one with a damaged balance? They are hard to find, and the last one I saw went for well over £1000. But buying the missing part on their own will be even more expensive, and probably impossible as not all parts are available.

  4. Watch is happily ticking on my wrist. What Christian did to resurrect this watch is awesome. As he mentioned I did not have high hopes but gave it a try. The watch was in a drawer for several years after the previous mishap destruction. I would say, just in time, as some parts of the 321 movement are getting extremely difficult to find.
    On the wrist watch gains between 90 to 120 seconds a week. This is an excellent figure knowing in what sorry shape the movement was and more particularly the balance spring (straightened) and balance staff. Chronograph functions works very smoothly.
    Thank you Cristian for the excellent repair / restoration of this iconic Speedmaster.

  5. Top job as usual Christian, and obviously worth the price paid to the owner.

    I find it a bit depressing that these rare parts are subject to these eyewatering market forces. Was that lever something that could be fabricated but in the interests of provenance are bought NOS?
    Are things going to get easier with the democratisation of CAD manufacturing / 3d printing etc?

    • Making a part like this would be far more expensive than buying it. You can’t make this in one working day…
      3D printing isn’t good enough yet at this scale. Surfaces are very rough, and tolerances way too high (unless you have a million to spend on a printer). I’m sure the day will come that I will print spare parts in my workshop, but it’s not going to be any day soon.

      • Christians correct, I work in an engineering/CAD design office, and we sometimes get certain parts 3D parts printed, but generally only has mock ups/scale models prior to machining as they don’t have the necessary strength, particularily at the scale of watch parts! Maybe in another 10 years…. 😉

  6. Awesome job, in fact a labour of love. Seeing a job like this makes me so glad to be on the approved list so I can send my watches to you for repair/service.

  7. Goodness that lever has to be one of the most expensive things on the face of the Earth going by raw weight. I’m guessing a lot of parts for the 321 are like this? or is this one special?

    As someone who loves watches, to bring something like this back from the brink is absolutely stunning.

    *typed while wearing a Speedmaster (1861) and silently hoping that when it comes time for it to be serviced parts aren’t impossible to come by*

    • More expensive than gold 😉

      321 parts are extremely hard to come by, and prices are accordingly high.

      For the newer calibres, parts are more readily available and cheaper. Also, you don’t need many parts for a regular service – it’s only when the watch has been badly mangled that you will need to replace broken parts.

  8. Another excellent job, and an interesting read.
    How anyone got the idea to take a chop at the original dial is beyond me!
    Must have been one of the previous, not so qualified, movement-scratchers being hard at work!
    Nice to see another one back to life!

  9. Great job, well done sir. Your talents continue to impress! Hell of a job to come back to after a week off though.

    730 odd quid is still a bargain really to have a good condition 321 speedmaster on your wrist.

  10. If it weren’t for that gouge I would have lived with that dial, but the new one looks so nice 😉

    Initially I thought the dial damage was on the crystal… how the hell did someone do that to it anyway?

    You need to watch that alum trick btw – the gases it emits when decomposing steel are pretty nasty!

    Top restoration job – nice to see 😉

  11. The Speedmaster is one of the few Omegas whose design I like. The price is stopping me from getting one 😉
    This one is beautifully restored now. Is it very impolite to ask what the total cost of the spare/replacement parts was?
    Anyway, good luck to Eric in wearing it. ‘Ça plane pour moi’ indeed!

    • Parts were as follows:
      crystal £23
      mainspring £18
      case back gasket £8
      2 pushers at £22 = £44
      blocking lever 320.1726 £136.82
      dial £150
      dust cover £12
      complete set of hands £80
      balance staff £20

      Plus my usual charge for the work…

      • Excellent work Christian, very heartening to see the skill and care put into a beautiful and treasured machine. This reinforces to me why I have my connie in with you!

        Interesting and thought-provoking reading on prices of parts, and I would offer the opinion that while these parts prices are higher than they seem to have been previously, to my mind they’re not extortionate. My reasoning being that for something I would consider a priceless object (to me of course) – my Omega – being given a new lease of life and even reborn in this case, this sort of spend is more than worth it. A great example to illustrate would be one of my business and personal interests; classic and vintage cars. In this arena, re-commissioning/restoration and even simple service bills are truly eye watering, and in some cases some or almost all parts are fabricated from scratch. Applied to that that you can wear your vintage watch all day every day after Christian’s ministrations, whereas your vintage Lagonda not (okay, there are a few exceptions here!). For me the satisfaction:cost ratio would still be comfortably acceptable.

        Just my $0.02!

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